I’ve always imagined getting a tattoo. The thought of getting an image inked on my skin that would be there for the rest of my life seemed both terrifying and intriguing. Even though I was scared, I always told myself one day that I would get one.
After much deliberation (over a year’s worth), I finally decided that I was going to get a puzzle piece tattoo. The puzzle piece was significant to me because it represents autism. My older brother was diagnosed with autism when he was about 3 or 4 years old. Despite his disability, he was and still is a major influencer and contributor to my life, and I wanted to be able to have him represented wherever I go.
After many days of research and contemplation, the puzzle piece seemed like the best way to go because it was simple and small (similar to the pictures below). I didn’t want anything too flashy, but I didn’t want it to be invisible either. Therefore, I thought that the best place for me to get the tattoo was on my ankle.
In order to better prepare for my tattoo, I asked my friends what their experiences were like at the tattoo parlor. In doing so, they were able to give me some advice about what I should and shouldn’t do. Their words of wisdom quickly eased my anxiety.
Name: Zoe Eisenstein
Tattoo: Stick and poke tattoo (a DIY version of getting a tattoo, involving a single needle and ink) of the Gemini symbol
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Tip: Make sure that you like the exact design and placement of your tattoo. Once it’s on your skin it’s there forever, so make sure that you are sure.
Name: Brian Tilton
Tattoo: A cross with the American and Italian flag draped around it.
Tip: Try to stay relaxed and it shouldn’t be too bad. It feels like getting a shot at the doctor, except the needle isn’t going as deep and it’s moving. If you’re still really nervous, I suggest looking away in order to stay calm.
Name: Nick Chambers
Tattoo: A symbol for the sunset.
Tip: Don’t get the tattoo if you’re not 100% sure of what you want. If you are sure, make sure to do your research about the artist and shop you want it done by. Once, you’ve done all of that and your artist is ready to begin tattooing, make sure you stay calm, take deep breaths, and talk to someone during the process. Having someone there will help you avoid the dulling pain. Finally, after the tattoo is done, don’t forget to take care of it by moisturizing and cleaning it thoroughly.
Name: Quinn Chao
Tattoo: The New York City skyline and the word hurricane
Tip: Never take Advil before you get the tattoo. If I do, then I will bleed, and that’s no bueno. It’s better to prepare for the pain because tattoos on feet and ankles hurt more since there is more bone. Therefore, bone = pain.
Name: Michelle Campos
Tattoo: The abbreviation YOLO (You only live once)
Tip: The pain is similar to getting a bunch of shots at the doctor, but it will be over before you know it, especially if the tattoo is small. Also, it’s always helpful to go with a friend or two for moral support. In the end, it will be worth it!
After listening to all my friend’s tips and words of encouragement, I felt more confident in going to get my tattoo. I’m not sure exactly was preventing me from going to get one. It could’ve been the fear of it turning out bad or the fear of my family members ridiculing me for getting one. Whatever the case, I needed to get over the fears and just go get it done. I knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied until I got one, and I’d regret it if I never do.